• DOE’s P450-M ‘Pantawid Pasada’ unaudited – COA

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    THE P450-million Malampaya-funded Public Transport Assistance Program (PTAP) or “Pantawid Pasada” of the Department of Energy (DOE) remains unaudited four years after its implementation.

    In a 2013 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said this was because the Status of Accomplishment, Fund Utilization, and Fund Loading by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Inventory of Public Transport Assistance (PTA) cards, Bank Reconciliation Statements of the PTAP Account for 2013 were not submitted.

    The DOE reportedly submitted the Bank Reconciliation Statement and the copies of bank statements from BPI covering the period January 1 to December 31, 2013 on October 20, 2014.

    Established under Executive Order (EO) 32 in 2011, the PTAP aims to provide relief to the public transport sector to cushion the impact of high fuel prices on the riding public.

    “The program’s initial funding requirement was P450 million to be sourced from the DOE Special Account in the General Fund (Fund 151)–Malampaya Collections. A total amount of P300 million per SARO No. A-11-00-842 dated April 20, 2011 was released by the DBM to DOE for the Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) driver beneficiaries, while the remaining amount of P150 million was released to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the tricycle driver beneficiaries,” COA said.

    Under the program, PTA Cards shall be distributed to legitimate franchise holders with valid and updated LTO registration and existing franchise of good standing.

    The card, loaded with an initial cash value of P1,050 and reloaded for another P1,200 cash value, acts as a debit card that can be used to buy fuel from participating gasoline stations.

    On April 14, 2011, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was executed by and among the DOE, BPI and Land Bank of the Philippines to set the responsibilities of the parties in the implementation of PTAP.

    Under the MOA, the BPI shall submit a report to the DOE on the total amounts loaded and/or reloaded including the amounts loaded and/or reloaded to each PTA Card within such time, manner and format as may be provided in a separate agreement with the DOE.

    Auditors said the BPI was also required to provide information, such as total number of cards used and unused with corresponding amount and total unused amount for the entire cards issued, within a reasonable time from receipt of written request from DOE. After six months from the last day of loading, and upon DOE’s written instruction, the bank shall sweep the remaining and unused balance, if any, of the PTA Cards and remit the same to the DOE.

    “As of December 31, 2013, the accumulated amount transferred to BPI Account No. 3021-4122-51 for the Pantawid Pasada since project inception in May 2011 was P219,845,400. The amount of P2,367,000 transferred during CY 2013 was intended for the loading of additional 1,052 PTA cards for PUJ drivers at P2,250 cash value each, representing 1st (P1,050) and 2nd (P1,200) round loadings,” auditors said.

    They said the DOE reported that out of the 96,902 PTA cards issued with corresponding fund transfer to BPI of P217,478,400, only 96,653 cards were loaded with cash totaling P217,426,050 as of December 31, 2012.

    “During CY 2013, no reports on the Status of Accomplishment, Fund Utilization, Fund Loading by BPI and Inventory of PTA cards were submitted by DOE in spite of our letter dated January 27, 2014 and follow-up letter dated April 3, 2014 requesting submission of such reports. Thus, we could not conduct an effective assessment of the program’s progress of implementation as at year end. Likewise, the actual amount of benefits availed of by the PUJ drivers and the projects’ fund balance could not be accounted for,” they said.

    Auditors added that the validity of cash balance per book of PTAP-Pantawid Pasada amounting to P366,094.01 as of December 31, 2013 “could not be fully ascertained” because of non-submission by the Accountant to the Auditor of the Bank Reconciliation Statements (BRS) and original bank statements of the Pantawid Pasada account for 2013.

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